By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy
The U.S. government entered into a $158 million contract with the Vera Institute of Justice to “provide immigration related legal services to unaccompanied minors.” While the federal government often engages in the contracting and funding of nonprofits, they typically try to avoid dealing with overtly political institutions. But not this time.
Vera Institute for Justice (a politically-oriented, leftwing non-profit organization) is a prominent example of this. According to Jason Hopkins, an investigative associate with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, they are “a behemoth progressive nonprofit based out of New York City with well over a $140 million budget, which they use to fund a slate of progressive causes and initiatives across the country.”
Nonprofits in politics are fine. They exist on the right as well as the left. However, most of their funding comes from private sources and not the government.
The Vera Institute, however, had nearly $137 million of its $174 million (78.7%) of total revenue from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 come from government contracts, according to the Fox News investigation.
This grant provides legal assistance to minors who are not accompanied.
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It is possible to wonder why public defense lawyers aren’t qualified for this job. According to the Vera Institute, because they are not citizens, immigrants facing deportation are not entitled to public defenders. To fix this, the Vera Institute has created an entire workaround to U.S. law where, even though illegal immigrants aren’t entitled to free legal representation, the government still pays for it through organizations like the Vera Institute.
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That’s a pretty savvy business model.
While the merits of this grant are controversial, one thing that shouldn’t be is the government funding overtly partisan institutions. Nonprofits that support views such as defunding the police and releasing all illegal immigrants from ICE detention shouldn’t be funded with $150 million in taxpayer money.
Real Clear Wire granted permission to syndicate.
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